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or leave it to the staffers? >> i think republicans in congress work better with vice president biden than president obama in these sorts of negotiations. >> america's happy warrior could be ruled out. what's your headline, good sir? >> unfortunately like past headlines, "in a jobs crisis, the republicans are still trying to cut health care and economic aid." i think that will be more and more difficult for them to carry as a message when people back home don't talk about cliffs, they talk about jobs, they talk about unemployment, and they don't want manufactured crises from washington when you could cut these tax hikes on the middle class, first order of business. >> it is fascinating. you eluded to it earlier, number of guests have talked about this as well, how we are very much in the posturing phase period as you indicated. a lot of bluster, a lot of chest thumping. one has to wonder at what point, at what point, perry, all of that ends and the real negotiating gets started. >> it's going to get close -- january 1st is getting closer. we're further from the posturing stage and further
.c.-area diner, vice president joe biden said if the gop were willing, the debt deal could be done in short order. >> it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the house to pass and make permanent the middle-class tax cut. the president would probably have me sprint up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign. >> reporter: but even after the latest in a series of private calls with the president, house speaker john boehner says the white house is stone walling. >> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house is has wasted another week. >> reporter: this morning in his weekly address, president obama is holding a hard line on raising rates for the wealthy. >> and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families, then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates. that's one principle i won't compromise on. >> reporter: but how much higher could be the key. the top tax rate is set to rise from 35% to 39.6% on january 1st. when asked if a middle ground co
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